On December 20, 2013, freelance writer, Megan Senger, interviewed CEO and Founder of Fit For Birth, Inc., James Goodlatte, for an article that would be published in the May issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 11, Number 5. James was one of several industry experts interviewed for the article titled “Functional Fitness for Pregnancy.” His progressive and unique views helped shape the article, particularly concerning exercise selection and objectives. His views also gave a unique perspective on what it means to select exercises based upon Trimesters. What follows are the transcripts of the complete interview…
Background by Megan Senger:
This article will discuss functional fitness as it relates to the different stages/trimesters of pregnancy. Note that this article is NOT a review of exercise guidelines during pregnancy, cardiovascular or nutrition concerns, or general tips about working with pregnant clients. Instead, it will focus exclusively on functional fitness for activities of daily living during pregnancy, i.e. what exercises should a pregnant client perform during her 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester so she can comfortably perform ADLs during her pregnancy, prepare for the birth experience (“fit for birth”), and her immediately post-partum ADLs (e.g. sitting in a chair nursing/feeding her baby for hours, etc).
6. There is a unique psychological aspect to training pregnant clients. For example, a woman who has experienced a previous miscarriage may want to work out but be nervous to despite doctor’s approval. Or, a heavily pregnant woman who is nervous/scared about giving birth. How should/does this factor in to exercise prescription for pregnant clients, if at all, in your opinion?
The psychological aspect of birthing in the modern world is the MOST important category of training at Fit For Birth. We follow a curriculum of understanding that one’s Thoughts and beliefs create one’s perceptions, which in turn create one’s level of Stress (and fight or flight, and cortisol release, etc.). In other words, the mind creates the body. If you wish to be a prenatal specialist, you must get training in this level of life coaching.
The Fit For Birth protocol includes psychological awareness training, mental imagery and meditation techniques. We encourage it throughout our training sessions in any form, and specifically use mental imagery/meditation as protocol in our pregnancy-specific Labor Training methodology.
We also coach our fitness and health professionals to use other techniques outside of the training session. We recommend them to give their clients specific articles to increase their understanding, for example, A Mother’s Emotions Affect Her Unborn Child. We recommend particular movies, like The Business of Being Born, and youtube videos as a tool for breaking down the ideology of fear in our modern women. Most women in the modern world have spent a lifetime thinking that birth is a problem, and it takes an “immersion” to unwind that fear-pattern. First, their coach must understand birth historically, economically, medically, and factually.
Fit For Birth coaches are often the only figure in a woman’s life that understands the both sides of birth: ie. the mechanization / fear contrasted with the possibility, “If I can do that, I can do anything.” A woman who wants to feel empowered must surround herself with the words, images, and senses of that possibility. She must often be brave enough to re-educate her family and friends who are stuck in the fear paradigm. And she has less than nine months to do it.
Read more from the interview here:
James Goodlatte is a Pre & Post Natal Holistic Health Coach whose passion is to heal families by inspiring the use of natural methods and by building a global team of fitness & health professionals to reduce infertility, avoid mechanized childbirth, and lower chronic disease in our infants. As the founder of Fit For Birth, Inc., he is a driving force for providing Continuing Education Credits for the Pre and Post Natal World. As a writer, his articles have been published in a dozen languages and have inspired contact from Pre & Post Natal women as well as health professionals in over 150 countries.